I’m trying to build up some biker e-cards, some of which are animated, at my web site.

Toon Boom really speeds up some of this work because of the lip-synch, along with a few other things. The first couple of efforts I made in TBS using lip-synch, I’d assign all the lip to all characters, then manually adjust the x-sheet back to the X (closed) position for the character who wasn’t talking–what a pain in the neck!

Lately I’ve been using the color adjustment channel (I ferget what it’s called) to make invisible the unused channel, while making visible a closed mouth.

What occurs to me now is that this is also a way to add other expressions to lip-synch. It would add more channels to the timeline, but ultimately turn into a more interesting visual piece.

Anyway, here’s the new one. Still need some adjustment, but it ain’t too bad:


(I think that’s the right url…)

As a fellow biker, I particularly appreciated the cartoon!

Although I’m a TBS newbie, it strikes me there are a couple of other ways to get around the problem of closing the mouth of the character who isn’t talking.

The first is to use the envelope editing facility to shut off the volume completely when you want the character’s mouth closed. I’ve done this on a short clip and it seemed to work OK.

For longer clips, a better solution might be to put the voice recording through a gate. In case you don’t know, a gate only lets sound through above a certain threshold (that you set). Therefore, when you talk the sound gets through, but when you don’t the sound is stopped - hence you get silence. When you do a lipsync, TBS then displays the X frame.

I have a physical noise gate, a box that I plug a wire into, but I’m sure it is something that can be done with software and you may be able to find something downloadable that will process your sound file and output a gated version.


Hey Steve, thanks for giving it a look, and for your ideas.

It’s not so much the ungated sounds as the fact that assigning lip synch to a channel assigns all the lip synch for a sound file, doesn’t separate 'em by who’s talking. So the sound file…

I’m going to have to get back to you… a couple of my long held assumptions on this may be crumbling. So far, I’ve thought that you have to assign the whole file to a channel, but (and I can’t test this here at work) it seems to me that the menu option for assigning lip synch to a channel is a right click on a cell; I wonder if you can do this for a selected range of cells…

Jeez, then it occurs to me how easy it is to edit down a sound file to the selected section, have a sound channel for each character. I’m great at making more work for myself, and I’ve just found a couple workarounds to the hard work I typically create for myself.

by the way, what do you ride, steve??

Rupert, you’ve gotten that lip sync down beautifully! Them hogs’ lips look as realistic as Nick Parks attains on the “Wallace” lips. Congratulations. You’ve come a long ways since the old days. Proof that hard work & dedication pays off. And, of course, a little side-order of talent doesn’t hurt!



ZZR600. I use it for some business travel, to enjoy getting there and back, hence it’s more of an alrounder than pure fun bike. Should I infer your taste in bikes from your cartoons?

With regards your sound file, it didn’t even occur to me you had decided to work with only one sound channel. You’ve put a lot of work into visual quality, but dare I say that the quality of the sound is even more important than the quality of the picture, and it can transform the cartoon.

We’re breaking our sounds up to separate components so we can do multitrack mixing, layering dialogue and sound effects on various background noises. With your dialogue, having separate sound tracks could be very beneficial because you could process your two voices to make them sound much more distinct. There’s lots you could do with the plethora of effects that you can get.

Getting the two voices on two separate channels need not be hard work. You can use a software editor to split them. Or if you want something even simpler, record in stereo and as you hop from one voice to another, hop between Right and Left recording channels.

By the way, my son’s at university studying ‘Sound Technology’. :slight_smile:


seems like an oldboys meeting under way :wink:
as far as i know rob’s just saved his bike from the loss :slight_smile:

sound is a wonderful topic where i’m a layman, alas :frowning:
not even my son could help me out here (the eldest one is studying journalism and theater sciences).

Hey Rob! Hey Elwood!

I have no idea why I haven’t simplified things by editing my sound more carefully, splitting it, etc. The whole thing is much more clear now…

yeah, you’re right about my choice. I’ve had the same ol’ Harley shovelhead (1344 cc) for the last 18 years. And yup, Rob, I still have it. Close call!!

Elwood, you’re sure right about the sound quality. I recorded that with my DV camcorder. One of these days I’ll have to take some of my meager harley money and divert it to my audio department. yeah, like I have departments… I know a thing or two about sound, but I got no equipment worth the oil under my chopper…

Anyways, glad to check in around here again. It’s been a while. You fellas rock.

Rob (gester)…you have kids studying at uni? wow for some reason i assumed you were about 23 or something…how wrong was i lol.


yeah, time waits for noone :wink: but don’t get me wrong, anybody who beats me in a 10-miles run or in a 3-sets tennis match gets my respect easily enuf ;D


You don’t need to divert Harley money to get some sound editing capabilities. There is a free (“open source”) sound editor called “Audacity” which has some reasonable sound manipulation tools. You can download it from http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

There are also various libraries of sounds available online, some free, some paying (search on “cartoon sound effects”).


I have Audacity, I’m just not too thrilled with my recording equipment/mic. Seems to always get a wierd sound to that I’m not sure how to tune out… maybe more bass or something. The Turkey Toon I did back at Thanksgiving (in November for the rest of you ;)) included a recording of a friend of mine playing some blues guitar in the same way, which came out great. Dialog doesn’t get as clean, but I may just need to tune it better in post.

Rob wrote:

Can’t help you with a new mike, sorry. But before you splash out on some expensive kit, you often get ‘wierd sounds’ from room acoustics, which wouldn’t be much improved even by a better mike.

To test this out, you could try recording in different environments (eg: in the garden). You’ll have lots of other background noise, but if the same sound is still there then you know it’s the mike. If the sound disappears, then it’s the room and you’ll need to do some sound-deadening.